PAM The Healthier Cooking Alternative! – Delishar

Besides using heart healthy EVOO. I often use a cooking spray for cooking and baking. 

PAM is great for all kinds of cooking. A 1 sec spray = only 9 calories! 

I use it for stir-fry, which very often need a lot of oil. 

I also use it for baking. Instead of buttering the pan, I use this which cuts my calorie and fat intake. 

Look at the comparison! Isn’t it amazing? 

It’s slightly pricey ($10.25 from Cold Storage), but definitely worth it! And it lasted me for about 3 months considering I cook almost every day. 

I think the company should be paying me for this post! LOL

But good things, must share… Agree?

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Cereal Prawns (Healthier version) – Delishar

Cereal prawns are so addictive and so delicious simply because it is really really unhealthy, and loaded with fats. I attempted to make it healthier by substituting some ingredients and doing away with others. Usually the recipe calls for prawns to be deep-fried, tons of butter, and many salted egg yolks, I modified it by using healthier alternatives, and it turned out really well, without any major compromising of flavors. I made this to go with my Curry Leaves Aglio Olio and it was a pair made in heaven! Omit chili padi if you are feeding kids!
Not living in Asia? You can find the premix pack in Asian supermarkets. Or make your own.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 12 prawns, peeled & cleaned
  • 1/3-1/2 pack of cereal prawn mix (1/2 cup nestum original cereal, 1/2 tsp salt or to taste, 1 tbsp milk powder, 1 tsp sugar)
  • 20 curry leaves
  • 1 chilli padi, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1.5 tbsp margarine/olive oil spread
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tbsp canola oil

Heat pan on med high with oil.
Add prawns, season with some black pepper.
Saute prawns until cooked, then remove and set aside.

In the same pan, melt 1.5 tbsp of margarine.

When bubbling, add beaten egg.

Scramble and break it up into smaller pieces. Egg should still be kind of wet.

Add curry leaves and chilli padi.
Saute for a min.

Add the cooked prawns, and cereal mix.
Toss to coat for 30 sec. Remove from heat.
Serve.

Or serve with Curry Leave Aglio Olio.

Bon appetit!!

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Healthier Beef Stroganoff – Delishar

I was inspired by Jamie Oliver’s Beef Stroganoff on my plane ride back from the States. I was ecstatic when I saw that the plane’s entertainment program has his 15 mins cooking show! I was instantly intrigued by how easy it was, and was equally glad to see him use yoghurt as a healthier alternative to the usual heavy cream or sour cream. I took more than 15 mins but lesser than 30 mins from prep to finish, just because I’m no chef like him. 🙂 I made up my own recipe as the I’m not a big fan of brandy, pickles, or red onion. I’m sure it’s very flavourful given that those ingredients have very strong flavours on its own. The husband gave both thumbs up for his dinner and the girls liked the beef a lot. I personally would have preferred to have it on rice, but that’s a personal preference.

Ingredients (Serves 3)

  • 450g – 500g ribeye steak, thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup carrot, 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1 cup sliced button mushroom
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1/4 white wine
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup beef broth (more if you like more sauce)
  • 1/4 cup low fat plain yogurt (or lite sour cream)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-1/2 tbsp paprika powder
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Corn starch slurry
  • 3 servings egg pasta or rice
  • Chopped green onion for garnishing

Get all the ingredients ready.
Cook your pasta.
Bring a saucepan of water to boil and cook carrots for 7 mins.
Then add broccoli and cook for 2 mins. Drain and set aside.

Marinade sliced beef in salt and pepper.

Add paprika and coat well. This will also help the from sticking together.

Heat pan on med high and add 2 tbsp of oil.
Add sliced beef, do not over crowd the pan.
Cook for about 1 min.

Flip and cook for another 30 secs to a min.
Remove and set aside.

Add remaining oil.
Saute onions and garlic until onions are translucent.

Add mushrooms and thyme.
Toss for a min.

Then add the wine and let the alcohol cook.

Add beef broth and bring to boil.

Lower heat to low, add yogurt.

And beef, sugar, salt & pepper, and mix well.

Stir in corn starch slurry to thicken sauce.
Remove from heat.

Serve over rice or egg pasta with side of vegetables.

Bon appetit!!

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Healthier Crockpot Butter Chicken – Delishar

I’m trying to use more of my crockpot to make food, especially on days where I have errands to run and can’t stand around watching or waiting for the food to be done. I love crockpot cooking simply because it usually has very little prep, but the food that come out of it have intense flavours, not to mention the meat are often so very tender. And since it is a one pot, it also means less dishes to wash, so yay!!

It feels weird to say this, but this butter chicken uses no butter at all, but it sure does not lack in the richness of its flavour! It is healthier because I opted to omit butter, used low fat greek yogurt, and low fat coconut milk. The husband loved it so much that I got a big ‘thank you for dinner’ kiss from him! So yes, this recipe is a keeper. 🙂

Ingredients (Serves 4) adapted from taste

  • 500g chicken breast, skin removed and cut into chunks
  • 1 med yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger*
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced*
  • 2 tsp red curry paste*
  • 2 tsp curry powder*
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder*
  • 2 tsp garam masala*
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper*
  • 400ml trim coconut milk*
  • 6 oz can tomato paste*
  • 1/4 cup low fat greek yogurt*
  • chopped cilantro/chinese parsley for garnish

Mix all the ingredients marked * in a bowl until combined.

Grease your crockpot and add the chopped onions.

Pour prepared sauce mixture over onions.

Place chicken on top of sauce.

Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6.

Serve with steamed rice.

3 more days to take part in the Kitchenaid Measuring Set Giveaway! Click on the picture for details!





Bon appetit!!

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Baked Healthier Chicken Nuggets – Delishar

Admit it, we all love nuggets. I’m guilty of it too! I’ve also never met a kid that does not like nuggets. Plus parents like ordering nuggets for their kids when out and about. It’s easy, yummy, convenient, less messy due to its bite size portions. It’s a comfort food for sure, but do you know what you are actually eating when you order nuggets from fast food joints or pre-made pre-packed nuggets from stores?

If you are interested to know what ‘chicken’ nuggets are actually made of, this is a very interesting read, the video on the page shows that one nugget from a famous fast food joint is made out of 40 ingredients! Another article stated, and I quote “Our sampling shows that some commercially available chicken nuggets are actually fat nuggets,” he tells The Salt. “Their name is a misnomer,” he and his colleagues write. The nuggets they looked at were only 50 percent meat — at best. The rest? Fat, blood vessels, nerve, connective tissue and ground bone — the latter, by the way, is stuff that usually ends up in dog food.” – NPR 

Want to read more on why nuggets and hot dogs are bad for children (and adults)? Click to go to article by theasianparent.com

So why are we eating dog food or chicken butts? Or worse… feeding our kids with it? Bear in mind I’ve yet to mention the added chemicals, MSG, and preservatives. I urge you to read the two sources that’s referenced here. 

But that doesn’t mean we should stop eating nuggets all together, just know what you are eating by making it with the ingredients you trust. And you know what? Making your own home made, healthier chicken nuggets is really easy. I chose to bake my nuggets, rather than deep frying, but even if you choose to deep fry it, it is still healthier than what you are getting commercially. 

I made this for the pool get together with a few other families living in the same estate. The kids and adults loved it! It didn’t last very long before it was all gone, I regretted not making more. I’ll share 2 sauces that you can make as dipping sauce in the recipe as well. So lets look at how the nuggets were made shall we?

 

Baked Healthier Chicken Nuggets

Delishar

Serves 4-6

  • 600 g chicken tenders or breast meat, cut into 2 inches pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup panko I’ve used crushed cornflakes and it turned out awesome!
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese I only had the finely shredded ones, works fine
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder or to taste
  • 1 tsp onion powder or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Honey Mustard Sauce

  • 1/4 cup mustard + 2 tbsp honey

Spicy BBQ Sauce

  • 1/4 cup bbq sauce + 2 tbsp garlic chilli sauce
  • Method

  • Preheat oven to 200C.

  • In a bowl, marinate the chicken in the buttermilk and paprika for 1 hour or overnight.

  • (Note: you can skip this if you are in a hurry, just season chicken with paprika then toss it in 1-2 tbsp of olive oil. Buttermilk imparts a nice flavour and the acid in the buttermilk helps to tenderize the meat)

  • Spread your panko on a baking sheet/tray and bake it for 6 mins, checking to make sure it doesn’t burn. This is to give your panko a nice crispy golden crust.

  • (If using cornflakes, skip this step)

  • When done, leave to cool completely and toss in onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, parsley, and cheese.

  • Remove chicken pieces from buttermilk allowing excess to drip back into the bowl.

  • Coat chicken with panko mixture.

  • Place on lightly greased baking sheet so it doesn’t stick.

  • Lightly spray nuggets with cooking spray.

  • Do NOT over crowd pan, we don’t want soggy steamed chicken.

  • Bake for 12 minutes, turning half way.

  • Serve immediately.

Best to bake it and consume it immediately.
Allow excess buttermilk and egg to drip off, and coat generously with cornflake/panko.

 

It’s so easy you can even get the kids to make their own nuggets!
I might try coating it with crushed ritz crackers the next time.

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Healthier Crockpot Orange Chicken – Delishar

The first time I had orange chicken was my first trip to USA during my days as a trolley dolly. I ordered it as it was something different, something that isn’t common in Asia. We have the commonly found Lemon Chicken, but using Oranges as a glaze sound really interesting to me then! It was surprisingly nice! I liked that sweet, savoury, and tangy sauce that glazed the crispy deep fried chicken pieces. After a couple more visit to western countries, I realised that Chinese restaurant/ food court vendors sells very very similar food! Deep fried pieces of meat, with either some red sauce (sweet & sour), oyster, orange sauce, or lemon sauce. Another popular dish I kept seeing was ‘Singapore Fried Noodles’, that got me really confused simply because there is no such dish in Singapore! Maybe just maybe… it’s a direct translation of 星洲米粉, but I’m not convinced because it looked and tasted different. How did I deviated to here?!

Back to Orange Chicken. I made these to be healthier, without the need to deep fry the chicken pieces. It was lightly coated in flour and pan fried to get a nice crust, and to seal in the juices before sending it to the crock-pot. After 2.5 hours of slow cooking it, they were tender on the inside with great citrusy flavour bursting with every bite. You can choose to cook it with red pepper flakes or sprinkle it on top as a garnish after it’s cooked. I did the latter because that way, I can portion out some for my girls who is not trained to eat spicy food yet. Just one note about the ingredients listed. If you are from the states, I realised that 1 chicken breast is the size of 2 chicken breasts here in Singapore. So please do make appropriate adjustments. 🙂 Here is how to make it.

Ingredients (Serves 3-4)

  • 4 chicken breasts, 1 inch cubes
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of 2 navel orange
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp corn starch/flour
  • Corn starch slurry (1 tbsp corn flour + 1 tbsp water)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp veg oil
  • Red chilli flakes to taste
  • Chopped parsley to garnish

Method

Coat chicken with 2 tbsp of corn flour.

In a bowl or measuring cup, add orange juice, zest, soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, and garlic.

Mix well.

Heat pan on med high with veg oil.

When oil is hot, brown chicken on both sides, about a 1 min each side. 

It doesn’t have to be cooked through.

You may have to do that in a few batches, do not over crowd pan.

Transfer browned chicken to crockpot.

Pour orange mixture over chicken.

Cook for 2.5 hours on high. 

5-10 mins before cook time is up, season with salt if needed. 

Thicken sauce with corn starch slurry.

Garnish with chopped parsley and red chilli flakes.
Serve immediately.
Bon appetit!!

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